Strategic Primer Fourteenth Turn Summary

The current campaign of Strategic Primer recently, finally, finished its fourteenth turn. This was the last turn of the game-world year. Today’s post summarizes the turn, as much as we can without revealing the players’ secrets.

It’s been a year and a half since the last turn. The delay was due to first one person, then another, then another becoming too busy to spend time on the game and not answering emails for months; if this had happened to all of us at the same time, we probably would have finished the turn in only six months or so, but instead it turned out to be the longest real-world time for a turn since the campaign began.

While waiting for the last player, I have already begun running the “AI players”, and have nearly finished with them, so the next turn should not take anywhere near as long—I’m tentatively hoping to have received everyone’s strategy by the end of the year, and to have finished running the turn by the end of January.

This turn was the first in which living space was a constraint on population growth. Most players were not immediately affected by this, but two were; one has managed so far to keep adding housing enough to allow his population to grow, while a second has more workers than he has space for, unless he repurposes space nominally intended for resource storage or administrative uses into barracks.

I continue to intend to add other constraints, but these will not take effect in either of the next two turns.

Partway through the turn (after I had run most of the players’ food production already), I developed a formula to calculate the time required to render an animal’s carcass into food. I used it for what little remained of the turn that it was relevant to, and plan to continue to use it in future turns, instead of the highly ad hoc statistics I’ve quoted in the past.

This was the second turn that the rules about food spoilage were in effect; more than half of players had no food spoil, some had a very little spoil, and a few saw three-quarters as much as their daily consumption, or more, spoil.

Players continue to invent increasingly advanced technology, but not quite as rapidly as in some past turns.

For the past several turns, in response to player requests, I’ve given statistics to suggest where players stand in relation to each other.

First, population:

  • The highest population is 265.
  • The lowest population is 52.
  • The average (i.e. mean) population is about 108.
  • The median population is 93.
  • The standard deviation is about 72.

Next, number of advances discoered:

  • There are 48 advances in the Starting Package that every player automatically has access to.
  • The player with the most advances has 314.
  • The player with the fewest has 110.
  • The average (i.e. mean) number of advances is about 152.
  • The median number of advances is 130.
  • The standard deviation is about 72.

I also calculated the same statistics for the rate of discovery.

  • The player who discovered or invented the most this turn gained 28 advances.
  • The player who gained the fewest gained only 3 advances.
  • On average, players gained about 13 advances this turn.
  • 13 was also the median number of advances gained.
  • The standard deviation for the advance velocity was about 9.

Players’ strategies this turn called for detailed exploration, diplomacy, and the like on a level that has rarely been matched in previous turns; these parts of the game are, while time-consuming to run, often the most fun for me to do. So I’m hopeful that this trend will continue.

While waiting for the last players to get their strategies in, I finished my task of creating the treasures, caches, and “adventure hooks” that I had placed in the world but left marked “to-do: generate.” And while I wish the players had gotten their strategies to me more quickly, I’m still glad to have finished that; I notice that two players have already discovered at least one “adventure hook,” though neither has sent an explorer or other worker to investigate, and no player has yet discovered the existence of a portal to another world.

The nearly-universal pattern of sending explorers out in widening paths to “uncover more of the map” also means that the day when players will be regularly interacting with each other and not just the game-world is drawing slowly closer (as is the day when a player sends an explorer on a formal adventure or quest), a development which I am anticipating with excitement.

I look forward to seeing what the players come up with next. If you’d like to join the campaign, please get in touch with me.

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